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Confessions of St Augustine

  • Date Submitted: 10/28/2013 01:44 PM
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1) AUGUSTINE

Saint Augustine was born in Roman Africa in year 354 and became bishop from year 396 until he died in 430. He was considered a major Christian figure for the Western Church; however, this was not achieved easily as Augustine passed through transformations and struggles in order to lead a religious and unworldly life. In his book, he elaborates and explains his confessions based on the person he used to be, describing a very important turning point in his life. There are several themes associated with his confessions, including the origin of evil and the wicked nature of man; free will vs. fate & destiny; internal struggle and domination of sexual nature and finally, his conversion to Christianity.
Throughout his confessions, Augustine wonders where evil comes from and questions the wicked and cruel nature of man, which is a very important theme in his book. In one of his confessions, Augustine refers to a mother breast-feeding her younger son while the other child feels envy and jealousy. Augustine, in this case, describes how the child would perform an evil act if he was capable of doing so; thus, it is not because of lack of will that he does not, but because of his lack of power & strength, being just a youngster. He therefore dismisses the view that evil develops with time and that children are withdrawn from all wickedness; stating that man is wicked in nature, from time of birth till time of death. According to Augustine, every man was born with the sin of Adam, which is the act of disobedience; this means the existence of evil in man. Augustine calls himself a sinner, describing himself in the past as someone who was looking in the wrong direction. Nevertheless, he realized that he was getting pleasure but not true happiness. Augustine makes another reference in his confessions to the theft of pears, where him and his friends would steal pears from someone else’s property and throw them to the pigs, implying rejoice of the...

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